Unpopular Opinion: United and Chelsea can challenge next year

12OunceEpilogue

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Did you get a chance to read the responses? :) Basically: way too many "Ole isn't proven-enough manager" fans on this forum. Despite the fact that any manager needs a great squad to challenge for a title. I doubt Pep would have done much better with the crap of a squad Ole inherited, but...

Anyway, what gives me hope is: quality of signings (even if Bruno's could have been earlier), improvement in those who can improve (AWB, Shaw, Greenwood are a delight to watch), and that Ole clearly holds his own with top teams (takes a good tactician when it happens consistently), and after Bruno's arrival we have been much more consistent. The squad is still not finished, we need couple key signings, some more cleaning and some more depth, but a lot of it could happen in the summer, if Ole is backed properly.

p.s. Today's game against Brighton was amazing!
Fair play to you for pumping us up for next year. For me there are still a few big question marks over our team that will make a title challenge difficult:

- I think Pogba has to stay. If he leaves we are not replacing him with a like-for-like, because there isn't one, any replacement creative player we did get would not be as good and need time to bed in. If we didn't get another creative midfielder we'd be back to throwing everything on the shoulders of one player, which we know from bitter experience just doesn't work
- Maguire - Lindelof - De Gea has certainly not been good enough this season. Whether this year together will give them a better understanding, Lindelof will improve and De Gea will rediscover his previous world class form are open possibilities, but at the moment Liverpool and City have the drop on us with Alisson-Van Diyk and Ederson-Laporte (though the latter are having real problems finding a quality partner, Liverpool will be stronger still with a fit Joe Gomez)
- I have more faith in AWB and Shaw's potential as attacking threats than most on this forum, the glimpses they've shown here and there have excited me, but my issue is with the lack of chemistry I see between them and the forwards in front of them, not to mention their inside midfielders. You could argue it takes time, that AWB hasn't had a proper partner with whom to develop an understanding and that Shaw's runs inside Rashford v Brighton could be a potential blueprint for the future, but it needs a lot more work for me, much more than City's system under Pep and certainly more than Liverpool's which has TAA and Robertson as the main outlets. On the plus side we have Williams who I like and who will have a role to play next year
- I think Matic will be ok next season and I like our midfield options as they stand currently. Another quality deep midfielder, either a playmaker or a pure destroyer, wouldn't go amiss but our first choice three of Pogba-Matic-Bruno looks fine to me. Obviously a long-term injury or loss of form for Matic would worry us if no defensive mid comes in in summer
- Ole. I'm not one to baldly dismiss him as a manager who could win things, but as of now he lacks the pedigree of Pep and Klopp and the main overarching concern for me this year has been the amount of times we've been the better team in games but have found ways to throw points away. This is important to me because even if I grant you the fact Ole has had to make do with a very average and incomplete United squad in games where we have got ourselves on top and are not playing a team of world beaters we have lost control of games via an error, via a set piece, via an inability to react to a tactical tweak or a substitution. Ole has done well fazing out those with no future here and bringing through those that do, but even with a better squad I could see his side failing to capitalise on chances to get on top and stay there next season. His tactical jobs in big games have been impressive, what I think he lacks is the will to grind out wins like United teams of yore and, let's face it, Klopp's Liverpool this season. If he proves me wrong next year I would delight in eating every portion of humble pie there is, but for now I don't see him as a title challenger, nor the team just yet.
 

romufc

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Maguire - Lindelof - De Gea has certainly not been good enough this season. Whether this year together will give them a better understanding, Lindelof will improve and De Gea will rediscover his previous world class form are open possibilities, but at the moment Liverpool and City have the drop on us with Alisson-Van Diyk and Ederson-Laporte (though the latter are having real problems finding a quality partner, Liverpool will be stronger still with a fit Joe Gomez)
We have the 2nd best defensive record in the PL. Everyone points to mistakes that DDG and United's defence makes yet when city's defence or keeper makes mistakes nothing is said about it.
 

12OunceEpilogue

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We have the 2nd best defensive record in the PL. Everyone points to mistakes that DDG and United's defence makes yet when city's defence or keeper makes mistakes nothing is said about it.
Alisson-Van Diyk-Gomez is certainly better than what we have at the moment, and I'd argue Ederson-Laporte + a signing could well be better too, and by better I mean more suited to both the attacking and defensive aspects of the PL. I'm not saying what we have is trash, that they can't improve as a unit and individually nor that we won't make a signing to bolster our options further but at the moment those other two teams have better fundamentals for me.
 

Shark

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Chelsea have lost ten times this season and us eight, in a more competitive season we'd both be way off top four realistically. Yes we've both shown some really promising signs in patches but challenging for the title would be a massive step and would require both Ole and Lampard to add more quality squad depth. Liverpool lack that too be they've a remarkable injury record with their core players always available, that may change next season or it may not. Despite a disastrous first half of the season for us, we're looking like we could really finish strongly and I think it's vital we do so and wrap up CL qualification, otherwise I wouldn't even begin to think about challenging Liverpool and City next season under Ole.
 

romufc

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Alisson-Van Diyk-Gomez is certainly better than what we have at the moment, and I'd argue Ederson-Laporte + a signing could well be better too, and by better I mean more suited to both the attacking and defensive aspects of the PL. I'm not saying what we have is trash, that they can't improve as a unit and individually nor that we won't make a signing to bolster our options further but at the moment those other two teams have better fundamentals for me.
I agree the Liverpool defence is immense, that is why they are champions. City could be better but also need a LB whereas our full backs are very good defensively.
 

romufc

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Chelsea have lost ten times this season and us eight, in a more competitive season we'd both be way off top four realistically. Yes we've both shown some really promising signs in patches but challenging for the title would be a massive step and would require both Ole and Lampard to add more quality squad depth. Liverpool lack that too be they've a remarkable injury record with their core players always available, that may change next season or it may not. Despite a disastrous first half of the season for us, we're looking like we could really finish strongly and I think it's vital we do so and wrap up CL qualification, otherwise I wouldn't even begin to think about challenging Liverpool and City next season under Ole.
So in your eyes if the season was more competitive City would struggle to get top 4 too? They have lost 8 games too?
 

Shark

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So in your eyes if the season was more competitive City would struggle to get top 4 too? They have lost 8 games too?
They've only drawn 3 though, we've drawn 10 and Chelsea 6. Spurs needed 71 points to finish 4th last season, Arsenal finished on 70 in 5th. It's not outlandish to say that in previous seasons ourselves and Chelsea would be a long stretch off.
 

GenZRed

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Anyone who thinks we can challenge for the title next season is insane. At the slightest hint of rotation (which is needed during a longseason) we go from having a good starting XI to bottom five players in the team. All the best teams have quality on their bench. We simply don't have that. We need at least a handful of quality players over the summer to have any chance of competing and to be honest, we aren't going to sign that many players.
 

NewGlory

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Anyone who thinks we can challenge for the title next season is insane. At the slightest hint of rotation (which is needed during a longseason) we go from having a good starting XI to bottom five players in the team. All the best teams have quality on their bench. We simply don't have that. We need at least a handful of quality players over the summer to have any chance of competing and to be honest, we aren't going to sign that many players.
You do know there's a transfer window coming up, right? Nobody is saying we can win title with this squad. The premise was that we are close enough that with several smart transfers we could challenge.
 

bondsname

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I think we can challenge for the title next season, for about 3 months. No matter how many world-class players we buy, they just won't solve all of our problems like magic. There has to be cohesion, team-work, everything has to gel together to win the Premier League.
 

Amadaeus

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Not unpopular. Mmm is in the top three of attack in football and our midfield is quality. Pogba and Bruno are some of the most creative midfielders out there. Our defense is also one of the most expensive and have been solid this season. It should be a popular opinion that we should challenge.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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We should be trying to challenge but let's not get your hope about winning it because with that mentality today, no chance. We've seen lot of winning league team in the past even Liverpool this season somehow can win and defending a lead of 1-0 and 2-1. I know we were on 10 men for 6 minute before conceded but winning team shouldn't be conceded such a easy goal. The young players can learn through this experienced.
 

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On the evidence of what we've seen this season, neither Chelsea nor United should be expecting a challenge next year.

It'll be a two horse race between City and Liverpool.
 

NewGlory

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On the evidence of what we've seen this season, neither Chelsea nor United should be expecting a challenge next year.

It'll be a two horse race between City and Liverpool.
Unless Klopp makes major changes in the transfer window, Liverpool is a team running out of steam. If he keeps current squad they won't finish above 3rd next year.
 

bosnian_red

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Both will be up there, but both will fall short. Think both should aim for over 80 points and are more than capable of it, but I think Liverpool and City will be 90+ again. In one off games though I think the 4 will be relatively close, it's the consistency which we won't have. Probably better chance of seriously fighting for the CL than the premier league next season.
 

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Unless Klopp makes major changes in the transfer window, Liverpool is a team running out of steam. If he keeps current squad they won't finish above 3rd next year.
Let's hope for a regression to the norm next season. No more record-breaking, 100-pointer runs at the title please. City to start rebuilding again and Liverpool to run out of steam.

Otherwise I think we're a ways off.
 

Revan

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Unless Klopp makes major changes in the transfer window, Liverpool is a team running out of steam. If he keeps current squad they won't finish above 3rd next year.
Why? No old player there, so I don't see why they would regress. Great teams don't regress for no reason, typically it either has to do with the age, or changes in the manager.

I am afraid that Liverpool is gonna be good for another 2 seasons at least.
 

baskinginthesun

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Both will be up there, but both will fall short. Think both should aim for over 80 points and are more than capable of it, but I think Liverpool and City will be 90+ again. In one off games though I think the 4 will be relatively close, it's the consistency which we won't have. Probably better chance of seriously fighting for the CL than the premier league next season.
Will they have it in them to make up an extra 10+ points next season (if they win their remaining games)? Or is this season a complete write off for them? Will Liverpool be able to go 3 seasons in a row of 90+ points? City didn't even manage that and their squad is arguably stronger than Liverpool's.

With that said, we will have to make up 20-25 points in order to get to 90 points (which does seem to be the new goal). A couple of key additions and become a tad more resolute, we can certainly make a dent. But, we will have to see if it's also going to take 90+ points to win the league.
 

bosnian_red

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Will they have it in them to make up an extra 10+ points next season (if they win their remaining games)? Or is this season a complete write off for them? Will Liverpool be able to go 3 seasons in a row of 90+ points? City didn't even manage that and their squad is arguably stronger than Liverpool's.

With that said, we will have to make up 20-25 points in order to get to 90 points (which does seem to be the new goal). A couple of key additions and become a tad more resolute, we can certainly make a dent. But, we will have to see if it's also going to take 90+ points to win the league.
City was a motivation thing. Always felt that it was unlikely they win 3 in a row (especially given how close to perfection they were for 2 years), Liverpool were always going to be far more motivated this year. Next year they'll be more motivated and will be back up there. Liverpool will likely drop down, but I still think United and Chelsea will be over 10 points away. We both will have the capability to get over 80 points though and that should be the target for next year, with a view to challenging the following year.
 

treble_winner

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Not unpopular. Mmm is in the top three of attack in football and our midfield is quality. Pogba and Bruno are some of the most creative midfielders out there. Our defense is also one of the most expensive and have been solid this season. It should be a popular opinion that we should challenge.
Top three attack in football and we couldn't grind out 3 points against Southampton? Pogba and Bruno were ransacked by Southampton's midfield. And the less we talk about our defense, the better...

We need to get this upcoming window right, then next season would be a more viable top 4 race for us. Then we need to get the next winter and summer transfer window right as well. Only after we have ticked all those boxes that I'd believe we can challenge in 2021-2022 season (Assuming we still keep Pogba).
 

GenZRed

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You do know there's a transfer window coming up, right? Nobody is saying we can win title with this squad. The premise was that we are close enough that with several smart transfers we could challenge.
Don't patronize me. In my comment I wrote 'in the summer' meaning during the transfer window. We need 5-6 new players and I am not sure we can sign that amount of quality player sin one window. It will take two summers, and both have to be good in order to challenge.
 

Superunknown

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I initially thought "yes, we can challenge" but I've mulled it over in my head and am now thinking we'll most likely fall short.

It all depends on a few things. Firstly, it is imperative that all of our creative/attacking players stay. Eg. Greenwood, Martial, Rashford, Pogba and Bruno. Along with this, we badly need to add some extra defensive players. Quality defenders. Then, squad depth.

We would also need to be ridiculously lucky with no injuries to our key players. This is where I worry. If Pogba and Bruno are injured, suddenly we look ordinary. It all hinges on who we decide to bring in during the Summer. We've seen that one player like Bruno can make a huge difference, so just imagine if we did bring in one centreback who would elevate things for us defensively. That's the bit we need to improve on the most.

Even with all of this, the points totals that Liverpool have racked up this season and last is sickening. We haven't quite got into that machine-like routine of ploughing through games and picking up wins. It does need to become a bit more like clockwork, so that even if we do have an off-day, we come away with three points. We're not "relentless", but we could get to that point with quality additions. Above all, it's that mentality of wanting to win every game. That's where it really needs to start. Under Sir Alex, the expectation used to be that we would win every single game and anything other than that is a bad result. That's the kind of mentality that you need to win titles and it's the mentality that Liverpool have shown this season which is why they have won it. Putting other teams aside for the moment, you have to do your own bits right first and there's still tons of work to be done in that department.
 

NewGlory

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Why? No old player there, so I don't see why they would regress. Great teams don't regress for no reason, typically it either has to do with the age, or changes in the manager.

I am afraid that Liverpool is gonna be good for another 2 seasons at least.
Did you watch Arsenal beating them today? Did you watch City thrashing them the day after they won the league? Did you watch how many games they lost or struggled in since January?

Are you ignoring the obvious in front of your eyes? Liverpool's performance has not been compatible with their numbers for quite a while, and some would argue even in the beginning they got lucky in way too many games. Including the game they drew at Old Trafford with us, where they should have lost in any sane scenario.

Liverpool is not a team doing well. They are certainly not a team that can win back-to-back titles, without some rejuvenation, which may not happen for a variety of reasons
 

Revan

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Did you watch Arsenal beating them today? Did you watch City thrashing them the day after they won the league? Did you watch how many games they lost or struggled in since January?

Are you ignoring the obvious in front of your eyes? Liverpool's performance has not been compatible with their numbers for quite a while, and some would argue even in the beginning they got lucky in way too many games. Including the game they drew at Old Trafford with us, where they should have lost in any sane scenario.

Liverpool is not a team doing well. They are certainly not a team that can win back-to-back titles, without some rejuvenation, which may not happen for a variety of reasons
After winning the league. They are already in holidays (considering that they are out of UCL too). These results don't matter IMO.
 

bond19821982

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Man united with Ole, wouldnt be anywhere near title challenge next year.
 

Baneofthegame

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Did you watch Arsenal beating them today? Did you watch City thrashing them the day after they won the league? Did you watch how many games they lost or struggled in since January?

Are you ignoring the obvious in front of your eyes? Liverpool's performance has not been compatible with their numbers for quite a while, and some would argue even in the beginning they got lucky in way too many games. Including the game they drew at Old Trafford with us, where they should have lost in any sane scenario.

Liverpool is not a team doing well. They are certainly not a team that can win back-to-back titles, without some rejuvenation, which may not happen for a variety of reasons
I hardly think results after wrapping up a title really mean that much, which pains me to say.
 

Tel074

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I know it's far-fetched, but I think United and Chelsea can challenge for the title next year, if Ole and Lampard are properly supported in the transfer window.

Why?

1. Liverpool is not the club that can win the title two consecutive years. Just not gonna happen
2. City is showing all kinds of trouble. Even if Pep stays, they are not as formidable as they were.
3. Ole has done a huge amount of work. We are couple key signings and increase in squad depth (good bench players) away from being a very good team. Ole will have to make some painful decisions like letting De Gea go and promoting Henderson, motivating Pogba (if he is to stay) or replacing him and we probably need to sign Jadon Sancho. None of these are unthinkable, however.
4. Spurs have run out of steam. Jose is spiraling, so they don't seem to go anywhere. Arsenal is headless. Wolves top at fighting for top 6. Etc.

I don't know, maybe I am a hopeless optimist, but this is Premier League, and it doesn't feel like top-heavy dominance of two teams is what we will continue to keep seeing, if other teams (like us) play their cards right.

You said it's far fetched but then said they can ?
There isn't a hope in hell Chelsea can Challenge because they will need 4 new defenders and a goal keeper which they won't get.
United have a slight hope but again I can't see it happening next season because we need more strength and depth
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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I think Utd are a good dark horse shout next year. There’s the makings of a fantastic squad here and with some clever signings that could be the catalyst to push us a step further.

Chelsea...nowhere near for me.
 

Womp

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It's sarcasm my friend
Fair enough, it's just I've seen that as a genuine justification from some as to why we should maintain faith in Ole. You don't stop hiring the world's best managers because it hasn't worked in the past and start resorting to inferior managers, that's a ridiculous outlook. Jury is still out on Ole for me, but if it becomes apparent he isn't one of the World's best managers, we absolutely should be looking to improve on him, just as we would a player who wasn't good enough.
 

Siorac

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I think Utd are a good dark horse shout next year. There’s the makings of a fantastic squad here and with some clever signings that could be the catalyst to push us a step further.

Chelsea...nowhere near for me.
They're four points ahead of us despite losing to us twice. They picked up 10 more points than United against the rest of the league, in other words. If they're nowhere near, I'm not sure why we're a better shout. We finished ahead of them, what, twice since Fergie retired?

The most likely scenario by far is that neither team challenges next year and we'll be fighting out for 3rd once again.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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They're four points ahead of us despite losing to us twice. They picked up 10 more points than United against the rest of the league, in other words. If they're nowhere near, I'm not sure why we're a better shout. We finished ahead of them, what, twice since Fergie retired?

The most likely scenario by far is that neither team challenges next year and we'll be fighting out for 3rd once again.
Doesn’t change the fact our team is better and our form in the second half of the season has proven that. If Utd can build on that form with some sensible signings then I see no reason why we won’t go up another level. Chelsea on the other hand have a pretty average squad to my eyes and despite making some potentially good signings, it’s often the case that it takes time to settle in lots of new players into a system which could see then start slowly.
 

Womp

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You may name a few please?
Pep, Klopp, Zidane, Conte etc, managers who have succeeded no matter where they have been (Zidane is an exception to this given his young managerial career, but he won 3 back to back CL's, left Madrid, they struggled, he came back and has rejuvenated the team once again) . There's then the level following behind including managers like Simeone, Rose, Poch, Nagelsmann etc. who have gotten close, but may still get into that tier, or are young and have time. I would also put managers like Ancelotti etc. who have succeeded in the past recently enough, but who may no longer be amongst the best in the world into this tier.